Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would require that women be informed of their breast density when they receive their mammogram results, and that those with denser breasts be advised that they could benefit from additional screening.
Medicine is over-regulated. This bill just looks like another attempt to coerce doctors to do just one more thing, a thing that on the surface seems reasonable. Mammograms to not image denser breasts well in looking for breast cancer. So this new law would make your doctor inform you of that fact.
Say they enact a new law on breast density: How dense is dense enough? Will the law ensure that insurers pay for the additional testing recommended. The answer to question number two is usually “No.” What good does it do to know about something if you can’t do anything about it?
Mammography is a screening test. It does not and will not detect all breast cancers. The best test (my opinion) to detect breast cancer is a breast MRI. I do not know of a single insurance company that will pay for one as a screening tool.
If you want to make this law, then make it effective. Include a provision that the patient’s health insurer must pay for the test that the doctor determines useful without a long-winded approval process. Then doctors can get back to taking care of patients and not filling out forms and making phone calls gratis. Try to get your lawyer to do that.
John Di Saia MD